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Sri Lanka v England: Heather Knight helps tourists cruise to victory in first ODI

Beth Langston (third left) celebrates a wicket

Beth Langston (third left) was making her England ODI debut, after two Twenty20 appearances in 2013

England cruised to an eight-wicket victory over Sri Lanka with more than 20 overs to spare in the first women’s one-day international in Colombo.

Captain Heather Knight took 2-29 before her unbeaten 45 helped them reach 171-2 to overhaul Sri Lanka’s 169-7.

Nat Sciver hit 47 from 40 balls in an unbroken partnership of 82 with Knight.

The three remaining matches count towards the ICC Women’s Championship and England will qualify for the 2017 World Cup if they win one of them.

With Wednesday’s game having taken place at the Sinhalese Sports Club, the series now moves across Colombo to the R Premadasa Stadium, with the second match in the series on Saturday (04:30 GMT).

England will be confident of clinching the point they need to assure qualification for the World Cup they will host, after a comprehensive victory which built on their recent 3-2 series win in the West Indies.

Sri Lanka’s top five batters all got starts but all of them were dismissed for between 24 and 27 as they struggled to score quickly, while seamer Beth Langston returned economical figures of 1-23 from 10 overs on her ODI debut.

Knight took the important wicket of Hasini Perera to break the opening partnership after a stand of 50, while fellow spinners Danielle Hazell and Alex Hartley picked up a wicket apiece, while pace bowler Katherine Brunt (2-35) returned to take two wickets in the 47th over.

Openers Tammy Beaumont (41) and Lauren Winfield (33) then put on 77 for the first wicket before skipper Knight and Sciver saw England home.

“It was good to get off to a winning start,” Brunt said. “Tammy and Lauren are a great partnership, they’re getting to know each other’s strengths really well.

“Nat’s playing really confidently, and the skipper played a skipper’s innings.”

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cricket/37922289